One of the most important developments in philosophy during the last hundred years seems to be a methodological one. More than before, philosophers are aware of the fact that the process of tackling philosophical problems has to start with the clarification (or analysis) of the concepts involved. It is certainly true that there have been, in the history of Western philosophy and science, considerable efforts to analyse concepts and the formulation of problems, and historical research shows in many cases that these efforts have been of great importance to eventual achievements. So, the practice of clarification is not entirely new. What is rather new is the explicit recognition by many philosophers that clarification is an indispensable step in solving problems. Unfortunately, this does not mean that all these philosophers actually practise conceptual analysis. On the contrary, many of them go on to treat problems stated in vague terms and they accept, or do not realize, that their conclusions are at least as vague as the concepts involved.
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